ORNT0R4L SPORT Mun­ster eyes mon­ster chance of Cup call-up

Sunday Territorian - - NRL GRAND FINAL - TRAVIS MEYN PETER BADEL

STORM five-eighth Cameron Mun­ster is on the cusp of a World Cup call-up which could see him wear Johnathan Thurston’s No. 6 jersey for the Kan­ga­roos.

Mun­ster can se­cure a berth in Mal Meninga’s squad, to be an­nounced on Tues­day, by star­ring in tonight’s NRL grand final against the Cow­boys at ANZ Sta­dium.

The “Rock­hamp­ton Rocket” blew NSW away with one of the great­est ever Ori­gin de­buts in this year’s de­cider and now Kan­ga­roos se­lec­tors are siz­ing him up for a green and gold jersey.

Mun­ster, 23, has the ad­van­tage of play­ing along­side Ma­roons and Test trio Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk at the Storm which could see Mel­bourne’s play­mak­ing spine trans­planted into the Kan­ga­roos set-up.

Kan­ga­roos se­lec­tor Dar­ren Lock­yer con­firmed Mun­ster was on the verge of a World Cup call-up.

“He is right in the mix for the World Cup,” Lock­yer said.

“What Cam did in Ori­gin III showed he is born for rep­re­sen­ta­tive football and he is ver­sa­tile as well, which makes him per­fect for a World Cup squad.

“He is such a nat­u­ral foot­baller that you can play him any­where in the back­line and at a pinch you can play him at hooker or the back row. He has proven to me that he is a biggame player.

“There’s al­ways one or two new faces that come into the Aus­tralian team based on how deep their team goes in the fi­nals. If the Storm win the grand final, he will be hard to over­look.”

Mun­ster is jostling for the Kan­ga­roos five-eighth du­ties with Cow­boys half­back Michael Mor­gan, the star of this year’s fi­nals se­ries.

Mor­gan, 25, has al­ready made seven Test ap­pear­ances for the Kan­ga­roos, mostly as a bench utility given his versatility, but has served his ap­pren­tice­ship to be Thurston’s suc­ces­sor and started one game at five-eighth in last year’s Four Na­tions.

Sharks pivot James Maloney is also in the mix, however he had one of the NRL’s worst de­fen­sive records in 2017, miss­ing five tack­les per game and con­ced­ing the most penal­ties (34) in the league.

Mun­ster, who made his Ori­gin de­but fol­low­ing in­juries to Game One five-eighth An­thony Mil­ford and Thurston, ad­mit­ted a Kan­ga­roos call-up would ice a mem­o­rable season.

“It would be a good lit­tle boost for the year I’ve had,” Mun­ster said.

Mun­ster’s se­lec­tion at fiveeighth for Queens­land al­lowed the Ma­roons to form an al­lMel­bourne spine and saw Mor­gan start at centre in the de­cider. Meninga must de­cide whether that com­bi­na­tion is the best one for the Kan­ga­roos.

Pic­ture: SCOTT BARBOUR/GETTY IM­AGES

The Storm’s Cameron Mun­ster is considered to be a hot prospect for the World Cup squad be­cause of his strong per­for­mance in Ori­gin III and his overall versatility but he needs to push his claims again in tonight’s NRL grand final

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